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Orwellian Update I
Trouble in the kingdom.
STOCKHOLM (Radsoft) -- It was a show for the peanut gallery. The defence committee turned around Lex Orwell in a matter of hours, sending it back 'corrected' but actually leaving things mostly as before.
The parliament reconvene at 19:25 and are supposed to vote on the proposal at that time. But it may be a while until they get there - 48 MPs have requested the floor to speak.
Security Police Scramble
Swedish SÄPO (security police) scrambled earlier today in Östergötland to stop the youth movement of prime minister Reinfeldt's own party from demonstrating against Lex Orwell. And Reinfeldt's press attaché Niclas Bengtsson had been trying to quell another demonstration that was carried out on Monday.
'He really tried to stop us from demonstrating', revealed Linköping MUF chairman Anton Holmstedt.
Even before Bengtsson got involved other press secretaries were pressuring the youth movement to 'cool it'.
'Yep - we were told it was in our best interests to just go home', said Holmstedt.
Political parties always have a dialogue with their youth movements. But what's never occurred before is members of cabinet trying to force people to 'fall in line'.
'It's a blatant attack on freedom of speech', says professor Li Bennich-Björkman. Bengtsson of course does not agree.
'No. It's no attack on freedom of speech. We have to be able to discuss our issues and actions.'
[If you say so, Nicke! Ed.]
Bengtsson thinks it would have been better to sit down with the politicians who have something to say about Lex Orwell than try to create a media sensation.
'This was improper behaviour!' says the overly excited Bengtsson. 'The proposal should be discussed but this was the wrong time and the wrong place!'
[It's really hard to see what better time and place for such a discussion when Bengtsson's cabinet have done everything to force the proposal through despite unprecedented opposition from all areas of Swedish society, all the while the Swedish state owned media have conducted a practical blackout of the affair. Ed.]
Li Bennich-Björkman is of the opinion the government could have been felled for breaking constitutional law save for the fact the youth movement conducted the demonstration despite the threats.
'They crossed an ethical boundary. This is very serious', said Bennich-Björkman.
Bennich-Björkman points out the demonstration doesn't concern the political party of the government - it's a demonstration against Lex Orwell. And all the youth movements in Sweden have been aggressively opposed to Lex Orwell from the outset.
Niclas Bengtsson works for the government. And he was very clear that he didn't like us demonstrating,' reveals Holmstedt.
But if Bengtsson stopped the demonstration he would have been guilty of a crime against Swedish constitutional law. In a perverse way the Reinfeldt cabinet were just plain lucky.
'Formally speaking this is correct', says Bennich-Björkman. 'Things like this probably occur rather often in politics.'
'And I for one am glad they don't happen more often', adds Holmstedt.
Back on the Floor
The parliament sent Lex Orwell back to the defence committee this morning. The defence committee looked into the matter this afternoon. And the committee set something of a world record in returning the proposal already to the parliamentary floor.
The committee issued an 'announcement' to the government - demands for changes in the proposal.
'It's been a shabby job', said committee chairman Anders Karlsson. 'The proposal is essentially the same the parliament were going to vote on this morning. It's been nothing more than a show for the peanut gallery.'
The Orwellian Age
Parliamentary debate resumed at 19:25. After 48 MPs get to speak the proposal will again go to vote. There's not much hope any longer it won't pass. Sweden enters the Orwellian Age.
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